Hu-manity.co today announced it will use IBM’s Blockchain Platform as the foundational technology for its global consent ledger to help enable individuals to claim property rights to their personal data.
Hu-manity.co will allow people to control and manage consent, authorization and commercial use of their personal information via a permissioned blockchain-based data marketplace supporting millions of users.
Against a backdrop of growing concern around the misuse of personal information, human data — which includes healthcare records, geospatial location and media usage metrics — continues to grow exponentially. The human data marketplace is worth an estimated $150-200 billion annually*, but organizations do not have a global and scalable way to buy, use or sell this valuable information.
With a focus on data transparency, Hu-manity.co will use a blockchain network to put users at the center of the data economy and in control of managing and permissioning their own personal information. Through features like immutability and decentralization, blockchain makes it possible for organizations and individuals to interact in a more transparent manner. Coupled with technologies such as AI and advanced data encryption, blockchain is an ideal foundation for this global consent ledger.
Available starting today on Android devices in the United States, consumers can claim their human data rights via Hu-manity.co’s #My31 app built on IBM Blockchain. An iPhone version is expected to be available soon on Apple’s App Store. Upon claiming their data property rights, users receive a title of ownership, akin to a property deed. The 30 Human Rights ratified by the United Nations do not explicitly address human data rights, so the app is dubbed #My31 as an allusion to the “31st human right” – that everyone has the legal right to ownership of their inherent human data as property. The app provides people the ability to designate how their data can be shared, with whom, and under which circumstances, starting with healthcare data. Personal or medical data is not stored by Hu-manity.co; the data will remain wherever it currently is stored such as in a hospital electronic medical records system or by a research organization. However, the #My31 app will record a user’s property ownership as well as their data-sharing preferences.
For example, users can choose to share no information with third parties, or they may want to provide consent for use of their medical data for cancer research only. Users can also choose to lease their data to pharmaceutical companies or data aggregators but only upon receiving fair market compensation.
"IBM has long been focused on providing data stewardship which supports our belief that your data is your data," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Platforms and Blockchain. “With new digital business models driving data sharing to unprecedented levels, we believe that blockchain can serve as a key ingredient to enhance trust and responsibility with regard to data. Our work with Hu-manity.co is a pioneering example of how permissioned blockchain can help balance individual rights with distributed data access at scale.”